A Quaker Take on Liberation Theology

“The original teachings of Jesus are all about wealth redistribution and fighting greed and uplifting the poor,” Olivia Chalkley says. Liberation theology is grounded in that explicit connection between economic justice and spiritual salvation, and, as Olivia discusses, has much to teach us about “the opportunity to create something that resembles the kingdom of heaven here on Earth.”

Is QuakerSpeak worth $1 a video?

7 thoughts on “A Quaker Take on Liberation Theology

  1. So refreshing, so basic, so simple. Not easy, but simple. If I want to know how to deal with Covid 19, I pay attention to the medical people, not the economists, not the CEO’s, certainly not the president. If I want to know what Jesus taught, I look to His words, His actions. And then open myself to the Holy Spirit. Not the Holy Falwell, theHoly Graham, certainly not the Holy Jeffress nor the Holy White. What does He say, how does He live, how does He die? All the rest is just agenda.

  2. Over the past year or two I’ve become much more mindful of liberation theology as a most authentic and important voice and have tried to add this perspective. Last Summer I heard Miguel A. De La Torre speak daily at Chautauqua and found his talks to be transformational. I’m reading his book Reading the Bible From The Margins. He has a book on Liberation Theology. He is no stranger to Philadelphia with a doctorate from Temple U.
    Thanks for this edition of QuakerSpeak

  3. I never thought about scarcity and distribution being connected to a spiritual surrender!! Wow, so moved by this Friend’s Truth. <3

  4. I remember when I was a little girl, maybe seven years old, my family was quite poor, though I didn’t know it then. I was standing in a a dime store looking at all the things spread out on display. I didn’t have a nickel for a box of gold stars, and I remember thinking to myself “Why can’t everybody just have enough for what they need and be able to have what they need, and that’s enough?”
    When I was older and being schooled in the evils of Communism, I remembered that moment in the dime store and thought to myself, “Oh, dear! Am I a communist?!”
    A lot of time has passed, I’m 76 years old, and I find myself remembering how many times that original thought has returned, that I’m no longer afraid of my thoughts, how much I myself have learned, and that I am still the same at heart. Now I am happy to call myself a Quaker and a proponent of liberation theology. Down deep, it seems very simple.
    Thank you for the reminder, Olivia.

  5. I’m not at all sure that greed is the cause of poverty, according to Jesus or according to how things work in our time, in America or the rest of the world. Yes people are greedy, yes greed is a sin / bad, and poverty is bad too, but unless greed is so broadly construed as to be all-encompassing… well, I just don’t see it. I can see that greed contributes to poverty, but I think there are many other spiritual and material factors/tendencies equally important.

    Among Jesus’s teachings I always try to get back to loving other people “as myself” — which can occasionally lead to thinking I should “redistribute” my own resources, but almost always there are other things I should be doing that get more to deeper issues. Same thing for society at large.

  6. I agree with the goal of liberation theology, and with the goals of Christianity, one of which is to help people in need – help the sick, the poor, the widows (who in the old days were often unable to make a living because of oppression of women) care for the children and disabled. I see the question being on How to create a more just and equitable society. Governments are responsible for this, and democracies can help by providing services for those in need. But current governments are biased in their fear – almost paranoia — about possible attacks from other countries, and by spending more than they need to on armaments, take money away from human services. And also, by creating huge armaments, they make other countries afraid of attack from us, and so they arm also. While we do need to have security (internally – police forces) (and externally coast guards and peace keepers) we need to stress more world peace, diplomacy, friendship, alliances, multi=nationalism, Peace Corps, and world philanthropy to make friends, reduce conflict. Then if the security needs were not so huge, we would have more funds to share with human beings in need. There is an imbalance due in part to the wrong priorities of spending the people’s funds, taken in taxes, and used with wrong priorities. So the basic way to correct the situation is through political education, voting, and supporting those who have liberal, world views, and can push for international understanding and peace in the world.

  7. I have a dear cousin who is Catholic, and who has embraced Liberation Theology. And here is confirmation of our spiritual connection. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on Friendsjournal.org may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.